MOKUY (Spirit) is a new work from Gary Lang NT Dance Company that premiered at Garrmalang Festival at Darwin Entertainment Centre on Friday 9 and Sat 10 May 2014.
MOKUY is a series of vignettes that depict an evocative reflection on the journey of the spirit following death through contemporary dance, projections and traditional and contemporary music. For Gary Lang Mokuy is his personal response to youth suicide in remote Indigenous communities.
MOKUY draws together an interpretation of ceremonial song cycles (manikay) played in the elaborate funeral rites of the Yolngu people of Arnhem Land with contemporary music and dance. Traditional oral lore and storytelling are blended through an intricate series of song and dance progressions that express Lang’s grief and the poignancy of mortality.
MOKUY begins at the moment of death with the sun’s last rays and follows the passage of the spirit till the journey’s end at the morning star. Traditionally, song men perform complex song cycles (manikay) to ensure the ancestral spirit’s safe arrival at its final resting place.
MOKUY draws upon the ancestral worlds of Yolgnu and Larrakia culture whilst speaking in the present to all audiences as it marries the traditional and the contemporary.
Gary Lang is a Larrakia choreographer born in Darwin. Gary created Gary Lang NT Dance Company in 2004 and the Company work in and reflect the cultures of Darwin with Aboriginal, Phillipino, Torres Straits Islander, African and Anglo heritage.
Lang’s contemporary classical style is blended with his cultural background in MOKUY to create a timeless work from Gary Lang NT Dance Company.
Darwin choreographer Gary Lang was awarded a Dance Board Fellowship by Australia Council for the Arts for 2013/14. The Performing Arts Touring Program will work closely with Gary on his program of activity and professional development during the next few years.This development includes presentations nationally at Dance Massive, creative development with OCHRE Dance Company in Perth and a work in 2014 with contemporary New Zealand Dance companies.
Stay up to date through the MOKUY blog.
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.
Artback NT acknowledges the Aboriginal Traditional Custodians of the Country on which we perform or exhibit.